AfricAvenir Windhoek setting the scene for the cinema season 2015
AfricAvenir Windhoek is busy setting up the screening schedule for 2015, bringing once again high quality cinema from Africa to Namibian audiences. The year will start with a Big Bang, as AfricAvenir opens its “African Perspectives” series in 2015 on 31. January 2015, at the Goethe-Centre Windhoek, with the Namibian Premiere of “Toussaint Louverture”, directed by French-Senegalese Philippe Niang, 2012, Haiti/France.
Do not miss this entertaining, exciting and enriching film. Toussaint Louverture is a two-part action epic film of the life of Haitian revolutionary Toussaint Louverture who led the first and only successful slave revolt in the history of the world.
The film is the long overdue first fiction ever made about the man who, born into slavery, became a General in the French army and even defied Napoleon’s power by making his homeland, Haïti, the first independent Black State in the world, an abolitionist and anti-colonialist State. In three hours, director Philippe Niang draws a breathtaking historical epic which perfectly translates the complex personality of the hero of Haitian independence and of the liberation of Black peoples.
Having started a kids film series in May 2014 with its project “Inspiring Young Imaginations” AfricAvenir is equally eager to push out more content with broader access to African cinema for children. After the initial phase in 2014, where screening took place at the FNCC, early Saturday mornings, AfricAvenir will now present African films for kids also in Katutura, in partnership with Terre des Hommes (Italy) and Hope Initiatives Southern Africa (HISA), located in Okuryangava, Windhoek. In early February children will be treated to an animation feast, South Africa’s “Adventures in Zambezia” will be the film kicking of the kids film series in 2015, in partnership with the FNCC, who provides this film to the Namibian audiences. Set in a bustling bird city on the edge of the majestic Mosi oa Tunya (also known as Victoria Falls), the film tells the story of Kai, a naïve, but high-spirited young falcon who travels to the bird city of Zambezia where he discovers the truth about his origins, and, in defending the city, learns how to be part of a community. Plenty for a fun filled family day.
Further down in the year, Namibian audiences will watch the gripping documentary “Cairo Drive”, Egypt, 2014, directed by Sherief Elkatsha. “Cairo Drive” explores the life of one of the world’s most populated cities—from its streets. Shot in 2009-2012 (before and during the Egyptian revolution, and ending with the most recent presidential elections), the film explores the country’s collective identity, inherent struggles, and the sentiments that lead through the historic changes taking place in Egypt today. Taxis, buses, donkey carts, and swarms of people, all jockeying to move through the obstacle course that is their daily lives. Sitting at a cultural intersection, Cairo is a city unlike any other, where different faiths, races, and social classes all share a few clogged arteries of tarmac. Filmmaker Sherief Elkatsha rides through the congested streets alongside a diverse cast of characters—from taxi drivers to ambulances, from traffic cops to private citizens—capturing the unspoken codes of conduct, frustrations, humor, fatalism, and life-or-death decisions of driving in a city where the only rule is: there are no rules.
Having brought the director Rehad Desai to Namibia in 2014, AfricAvenir brings another film by the director of “Miners Shot Down”, this time around the film “Born into Struggle”. In this film, shot by Namibia’s Simon Wilkie, Desai takes us on an intimate journey mapped out by the scars etched into his family's life from having a father who was intensely involved in politics. Barney Desai was a political hero during South Africa's struggle for freedom, yet as a father he was damagingly absent emotionally. Rehad spent most of his young life in exile and became politically active himself. On this intensely personal journey into his past, Rehad realizes he is following in his fathers footsteps as he reviews his relationship with his own estranged teenage son.
Another highlight of the year will be the presentation of Ghana’s “The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo”,2014, directed by Yaba Badoe. Badoe explores the artistic contribution of one of Africa’s foremost woman writers, a trailblazer for an entire generation of exciting new talent. The film charts Ama Ata Aidoo’s creative journey in a life that spans 7 decades from colonial Ghana through the tumultuous era of independence to a more sober present day Africa where nurturing women’s creative talent remains as hard as ever. Over the course of a year the film follows Aidoo as she returns home to her ancestral village in the Central Region of Ghana, launches her latest collection of short stories in Accra, and travels to the University of California, Santa Barbara to attend the premier of her seminal play about the slave trade, Anowa.
AfricAvenir is currently preparing regional screening initiatives, partnering with cinema houses and institutions like the Bioscope in Johannesburg, in order to form synergies and pool resources to bring cinema content from Africa to the whole SADC region.
See you at the movies.
The film series “African Perspectives” is organised by AfricAvenir Windhoek. The series is supported by AfriCine, Goethe-Centre/NaDS, Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, JacMat, and Turipambwe Designs.
“Inspiring Young Imaginations” is organised by AfricAvenir and the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre. Partners are Terre des Hommes Italy and hope Initiatives Southern Africa.